The F1 Esports Championship is Back

Building on the success of last year’s competition, the FIA is bringing the F1 Esports Championship back this year together with big rule changes – all of the F1 teams are now involved!

So, What’s New?

The game of choice still remains F1 2017 (no halos?).

However, as opposed to last year, the F1 Esports season is now split into two parts: Qualification events and the “pro draft”.

The former will consist of four events with the first one starting as soon as April 13. In a rather untraditional way, the first event will let players take control of Valteri Bottas’ F1 car to race from sixth place to a podium finish with only five laps remaining on a “wet but drying” Shanghai International Circuit.

The full schedule:

F1 Esports 2018 qualifying schedule

Three live-streamed races will then be held for the fastest three players on each platform, i.e. PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. So, per event, nine drivers will enter the pro draft. With four events that makes 36 in total. As the pro draft contains forty drivers, the last four will be chosen via the wildcard stage. Three of which will be the podium finishers of the last F1 Esports Championship, namely Brendon Leigh (1st), Fabrizio Donoso Delgado (2nd) & Sven Zürner (3rd).

Starting in July, all of the F1 teams, i.e. Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 Team, Williams, Renault Sport F1 Team, Haas F1 Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, will have to choose at least one of their Esports team’s (mind you, real Esports teams) drivers from the forty pro draft racers.

These Esports teams will then compete in another three “live events”.

If this explanation did not satisfy you, you can have a look at the full rulebook right here.

What’s at Stake?

Thanks to big sponsor like Codemasters, Gfinity and DHL, the prize pool will be at least $200.000 big.

The Teams’ Voices

Some of the F1 teams already expressed their excitement via Twitter:

The Sponsors’ Voices

Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters

Codemasters is extremely proud to be involved in the F1 Esports Series. The quality of the racing we saw during last year’s series was spectacular and the integration of the teams for the coming season is going to take the competition and its promotion to the next level. We strongly believe that Esports is a platform that allows us to engage with a wide, diverse audience in addition to our traditional gaming community.

Neville Upton, CEO at Gfinity

We are excited to be retained by Formula 1 as the events partner. F1 and Codemasters maximised the true potential last year by fully integrating the F1 Esports Series into the final Grand Prix weekend in Abu Dhabi through both their linear TV partners and streaming platforms and we look forward to building on that success in season two with more events and broadcast opportunities.

About the Author

Paul Heidekruger

Bringing you the latest news in the #SimRacing world!